WALKING THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
Above, you'll see a photo of the front of our building. On the left, a pinkish-beige building, on the right, an olive-green building. We're sandwiched in the middle. If you look closely, the door to our building is on the left. The larger opening in the middle is wide enough for a car to drive through (maybe to pick up the trash bins?), and then on the right, is a store front. We're not sure if it's a cafe, an office, or a furniture store, but this is where our contact was waiting to greet us. It's part of the building, for sure, just not sure of it's purpose. Anyway, those areas are all on the ground floor. Then above that is floor 1 and above that is floor 2, where we live. Now would you say we're on floor 2? Or floor 3? I say, technically we're on floor 3, but the elevator calls the ground floor "0", so we end up on 2. Either way, you can figure out where our apartment is.
|Doors painted with our street name and neighbourhood. (left)|
Ample Man alerting pedestrians to stop. (right)
|At the Farmers Market: Venice ate raspberries (left)|
Chris and Xander got sausages (Chris got currywurst from "Restaurant Zander"
Chris and Diana shared a falaffel sandwhich ((right)
The worst part of the Farmers Market is our discovery of bees. It is bee season here and they follow us everywhere. They smell American blood and love us. So, eating outside is hard, eating inside is hard (no screens anywhere so bees everywhere) and the kids are afraid, the younger one more. So, it has been tricky to eat in peace.
ANOTHER MARKET and HOME DEPOT
While on our way to the farmers market, we came across another market. Not surprising, Chris had see this market when he visited on his own weeks ago. But surprising to be discovered so close to our apartment. Side note: we stumbled across two more markets within a few blocks from our apartment, so we'll have many choices on where to get food depending on what we want or where we are when we want something. We looked around this market on the way to the Farmers Market, and then on the way home, we actually shopped there.
|Venice photographing Xander on the merry-go-round. (left)|
Xander turning the hand crank to make the merry-go-round go around. (middle)
Venice photographing the "stair-less" escalator we used about 10 times today. (right)
After a brief rest, we were deciding what to do before the stores closed. We didn't think the family had energy to do the last two errands of the day (obtain fans and an espresso maker). Triage time. I was sweltering in the heat, so I begged for fans. Chris found OBI was a hardware store within walking distance, so we opted to go there. Is it international for hardware stores to be orange? Can't help but think of Home Depot. And when we lived in CA, there was OSH. Anyway, OBI's website had several fans to choose from, but when we got there, they only had the 13" fans available. Very tiny. But I was desperate. We also got a few other items (hangers, trash bags, but we decided to wait on a broom or mop). We had to keep in mind that we were walking home. So far my backpack has come in handy and is working well.
FUNNY LABELS AND SNACKS
We're on the lookout for funny food names. At the big market, we found BioLust (The company name), which Venice thinks sounds like a name for a perfume. And Xander saw "Finger Noodles".
The kids have also been wondering what kind of snacks from home will they miss and what will be available here. We were on our way home, when we had to stop for more drinks, to keep us hydrated, and we stumbled across a few tasty snacks. Venice was super delighted to find OREOs here. Phew! We did buy some. They taste the same. We also found some chips (which we did not buy this time) called "Western Style Sweet and Spicy" (which looks an awful lot like BBQ flavour from the picture), and an entire case of Ben and Jerry's ice cream! We didn't have time to look at all the flavours of ice cream, and to be honest, I didn't think to look until we were home. I do wonder if they have any flavours different than the U.S.?
So, on all our excursions today, we saw many, many parks for kids. Some seemed to be locked, as far as we can tell, some are only open certain hours, others were possibly schools. But there were many that were open and the kids tried as many as they could. It's fantastic to have so much within walking distance.
RESTING, MOTORCADE AND DINNER
In the afternoon, we all rested. I went into the backroom to "read"... but fell asleep instead and took a nice nap. When I woke up, I found out that Chris had gone back to our local little store to buy a few things we needed (laundry detergent, kleenex, and more). Nice for things to be taken care of and nice to catch a few Z's.
Later, Chris decided last minute to make a mad dash to the espresso store, since they wouldn't be open on Sunday (as most stores aren't). It was after 6 and the store closed at 7. It is a 15 minute U-Bahn ride (the underground train) to the Gendarmenmarkt (high end shopping area). Venice decided to go with him. Xander wanted to stay home (he was melting hot). I stayed with Xander. The kids aren't quite ready to stay home alone. Understandable.
Turned one more channel and found a kid's channel. The show was Maja and the cast is a bunch of insects (bees, beetles, flies). After a few minutes of watching the current episode, we realised one of the bees farted. Did we really just hear that? As far as we could understand, this bee had a farting problem and everyone was offended by the smell. He was sad to be stinky. So he sought help in finding someone who made him a tincture to drink and he was all better. Then he could have ice cream. So maybe he really was lactose intolerant. The next episode, was even funnier. We realised it was about their friend, a dung beetle, preparing for a feast. So he was rolling dung balls from a giant heap of poop. His friends thought it was disgusting and a few flies landed on top of the big pile to have their own picnic. Xander and I thought it was disgusting! It definitely had us laughing and feeling grossed out at the same time.
|Motorcade, as seenfrom our living room (left). Dinner time (right).|
After a quick shower, it was time to start dinner. Our first home cooked meal in Berlin. Chris and Venice returned, successful from their espresso endeavour. Chris helped finish dinner and we had a nice evening at home. Phew, it was a nice long day of shopping, walking, and exploring (and sweating).